It’s something I’ve been working on for the better part of a year (and occasionally teasing images of it on Instagram along the way), and I’m so excited that I can finally share it with you all! Here’s a little bit more about the book, and the process we’ve gone through so far.
Last November, my friend, Amy Jo, reached out to me about a children’s book she was dreaming of, asking if illustration would be something I’d be interested in. Amy Jo has a beautiful way with words, and as soon as she sent me the copy, I knew it was something I had to do. The message of the book is simple, but powerful:
“Every little girl – and the woman she becomes – deserves to have a seed of confidence planted inside of her that blooms into knowing, I am beautiful. I am enough. I am proud of me.”
If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know that I’m a feminist at heart. Being a part of a book that empowers little girls to believe in themselves regardless of what the world tells them they need to be, is incredibly gratifying to me, and I’m so proud that my own daughters will always have this artwork to remind them of how I see them and want them to see themselves.
Every finger, every toe
You are more beautiful than you know.
But being beautiful is about more than what you can see;
it’s about so much more than what the world tells you to be.
Your heart is decorated with badges of brave and big, big dreams.
And that, sweet girl, makes you sparkle.
Your mind is a masterpiece with delicate detail like no one else’s.
And that, sweet girl, makes you shine.
Your spirit is adorned with love and goodness.
And that, sweet girl, makes you glow.
Your eyes shine bright with the kind of happy that can’t be contained.
And that, sweet girl, makes you shimmer.
Your voice is bold, full of truth in who you are.
And that, sweet girl makes you dazzle.
So remember, sweet dear, when you look in the mirror,
that you are, in fact, more beautiful than you know.
As long as you hold on to all that’s inside,
you’ll always be stunning from head to toe.
More beautiful than the lovely reflection you see,
because you, my sweet girl, are more than what the world tells you to be.
When I sent the first illustrations to Amy Jo, I anxiously told her what they meant to me. They’re definitely not your ‘typical’ children’s book style, and not specifically tailored to come off as ‘sugar and spice’. In fact, what I really wanted was to create something that read a bit more ‘sweet and spicy’, which is how I describe my two girls. I wanted the artwork for this book to be beautiful, but also to embrace imperfection. I look at it as a visual representation of the wording and message of the story. It’s meant to be complex— to illustrate that every person has many different sides that come together to make them unique. It’s meant to be both soft and hard, sweet and spicy, pretty and tough. The mix of everything together is what makes it interesting and unique, what gives it life and personality, and the more time you spend looking at it, the more there is to see— just like with every woman I know.
Luckily, Amy Jo was completely on board with my vision for the illustration style, and I couldn’t be prouder of how this book has come together over the past eight months.
I am so incredibly excited and proud of how this book has turned out, and I hope that people out there will love it as much as I do. At this point, we’ve tackled every challenge from logistics to creation, and now we just need the funding to bring you this book— which is where our Kickstarter page comes into play. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, here’s a brief rundown: It is a fundraising platform, but you are not just donating or giving us money. You are basically pre-ordering the book by pledging a specified amount toward the project, and then receiving “rewards” based on the level you give. We have a set, all-or-nothing fundraising goal, and if we don’t reach it, your card isn’t charged. If we do reach our goal, the pledged amount is deducted from your account, and we will get the books and other goodies ready to send out to everyone who signed on to support our project.
If you’d like to learn more about the project, and help support publication of our book, please check out our Kickstarter page! This project is truly something that’s near and dear to my heart, and any support, be it monetary, sharing with friends, or just sending good vibes is very much appreciated!
Thanks so much for all the love and support, friends!